In preparation for the gradual start of "Living with COVID-19" next month, South Korea is set to ease some of the distancing rules beginning Monday.
Seoul and the surrounding area will stay at distancing Level 4, and other regions at Level 3, but private gatherings in the capital area will be allowed to have up to eight people, up from the current cap of six, as long as four are fully vaccinated regardless of whether it's before or after six PM.
Elsewhere in the country, a maximum of ten will be allowed as long as six are vaccinated.
The relaxed rules on gatherings apply to all public facilities, including restaurants and cafes.
As for operating hours, restaurants and cafes outside the capital region can stay open two hours longer until midnight.
But in the greater Seoul area, the extended hours will apply only to study cafes, performance halls and movie theaters.
Meanwhile, sports stadiums in the capital region will finally open to spectators up to 20 percent capacity for indoor venues and 30 percent outdoors.
As for weddings across the country, up to 250 people can attend as long as the number of the unvaccinated is capped at 49.
With new infections on a downward trend, South Korea reported another one,420 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, down almost 200 from the day before and the ninth day in a row the tally has stayed under two-thousand.
All but 17 of the new cases were locally transmitted with the capital region accounting for about 78 percent.
The daily average has been steadily coming down from almost 25-hundred in late September to around 15-hundred last week.
That decline comes amid a rising vaccination rate.
Almost 79 percent of the population have gotten their first doses while nearly 65 percent have been fully vaccinated.
Monday marks the start of vaccinations for sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds along with pregnant women.
The sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds will get the Pfizer shot while expecting mothers will get either Pfizer or Moderna.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.